Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON
  1. Homepage
  2. Equities
  3. United States
  4. Nasdaq
  5. Alphabet Inc.
  6. News
  7. Summary
    GOOGL   US02079K3059

ALPHABET INC.

(GOOGL)
  Report
SummaryQuotesChartsNewsRatingsCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
SummaryMost relevantAll NewsAnalyst Reco.Other languagesPress ReleasesOfficial PublicationsSector newsMarketScreener Strategies

Google Plans to Double AI Ethics Research Staff

05/11/2021 | 10:19am EDT

By Tripp Mickle

Alphabet Inc.'s Google plans to double the size of its team studying artificial-intelligence ethics in the coming years, as the company looks to strengthen a group that has had its credibility challenged by research controversies and personnel defections.

Vice President of Engineering Marian Croak said at The Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything Festival that the hires will increase the size of the responsible AI team that she leads to 200 researchers. Additionally, she said that Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has committed to boost the operating budget of a team tasked with evaluating code and product to avert harm, discrimination and other problems with AI.

"Being responsible in the way that you develop and deploy AI technology is fundamental to the good of the business," Ms. Croak said. "It severely damages the brand if things aren't done in an ethical way."

Google announced in February that Ms. Croak would lead the AI ethics group after it fired the division's co-head, Margaret Mitchell, for allegedly sharing internal documents with people outside the company. Ms. Mitchell's exit followed criticism of Google's suppression of research last year by a prominent member of the team, Timnit Gebru, who says she was fired because of studies critical of the company's approach to AI. Mr. Pichai pledged an investigation into the circumstances around Ms. Gebru's departure and said he would seek to restore trust.

In addition to straining the existing team, those personnel changes have frayed Google's relationship with external groups focused on AI such as Black in AI and Queer in AI, which released a joint statement Monday criticizing Google for setting a "dangerous precedent for what type of research, advocacy, and retaliation is permissible in our community." The statement was earlier covered by Wired.

Ms. Croak called those exits a tragedy and said she agreed to fill the position because she thought she could help provide some stability in what has been a distressing time. A Princeton University graduate, she has a doctorate in social psychology and quantitative analysis and said she plans to bring her user-focused approach to engineering and concern about societal issues to the role.

"I thought, maybe, I could make a difference and carry on the work and have a larger impact," Ms. Croak said.

Health will be one area of focus for the group, she said. The AI team recently assisted in the development of an algorithm that can detect abnormal heart rhythms by scanning fingertips on an Android phone. During its development, she said the ethics team helped determine that darker-skinned people had more variabilities and errors in testings, which had to be addressed before the product's release.

Ms. Croak is one of very few senior Black executives at Google, where Black women account for 1.2% of the workforce. She has served as chair of Google's Black Leadership Advisory Group and has been active in calling for Silicon Valley companies to improve their diversity.

"They're disappointing numbers and I think that's true for so many companies in Silicon Valley," Ms. Croak said of the percentage of Black employees in Google's workforce. "Fortunately, in the last year or so, we've made a more concerted effort in attracting Black talent, but those numbers are pretty dismal."

She said that Google has been more proactive in providing mentorship to young Black staffers and said that it would take changing the culture across Silicon Valley to improve opportunities for people of color in tech.

"Sometimes I think it's the mind-set where you're very competitive and individualistic in your pursuits in the workplace and that sometimes can foster, not racism, but at least exclusion," Ms. Croak said.

Write to Tripp Mickle at Tripp.Mickle@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-11-21 1219ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET INC. -0.77% 2694.53 Delayed Quote.54.94%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.42% 34935.47 Delayed Quote.14.13%
All news about ALPHABET INC.
07/30Disney mandates vaccines for on-site U.S. employees
RE
07/30Wall Street declines with Amazon; S&P 500 on track for monthly gain
RE
07/30U.S. judge says Google request for Microsoft documents is relevant
RE
07/30AMAZON COM : Earnings bounce, bond-yield drop help keep party going for U.S. sto..
RE
07/30FACEBOOK : Russia opens case against WhatsApp for violating personal data law
RE
07/30CE BRANDS : Raises US$8 Million From Choco Up to Drive Expansion
MT
07/30ALPHABET : Global equity funds post biggest inflow in five weeks- Lipper
RE
07/30EQS-ADHOC : Mobimo Holding AG: Mobimo enregistre -2-
DJ
07/30EQS-ADHOC : Mobimo Holding AG: Pleasing half-year result for Mobimo
DJ
07/30SAP : Secures Google Cloud as Partner for RISE with SAP
MT
More news
Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 250 B - -
Net income 2021 68 758 M - -
Net cash 2021 143 B - -
P/E ratio 2021 26,8x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 1 800 B 1 800 B -
EV / Sales 2021 6,62x
EV / Sales 2022 5,67x
Nbr of Employees 144 056
Free-Float 93,1%
Chart ALPHABET INC.
Duration : Period :
Alphabet Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends ALPHABET INC.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsBullishBullishBullish
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 48
Last Close Price 2 694,53 $
Average target price 3 127,27 $
Spread / Average Target 16,1%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Sundar Pichai Chief Executive Officer & Director
Ruth M. Porat Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
John LeRoy Hennessy Chairman
Louis John Doerr Independent Director
Ann Mather Independent Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capi. (M$)
ALPHABET INC.54.94%1 799 758
BAIDU, INC.-24.15%57 995
NAVER CORPORATION48.21%55 815
Z HOLDINGS CORPORATION-12.48%37 822
YANDEX N.V.-2.37%24 272
SOGOU INC.8.34%3 425